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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by badguy, Jan 7, 2021.
Hi. Just wondering who owns this trademark, who is manufacturing these (current Chinese production)?
They are usually made by the same factory that makes the Rough Rider series for SMKW. Some of the machetes were handed by Imacasa, and a few higher end limited editions were made by Mike Stewart / BRKT for Marbles.
If I had to guess SMKW or Maybe Blue Ridge Knives has a piece of the brand now.
Here's a really nifty compendium
A Pocket Guide to Knives: Who Owns Who -- Prepared by Tobias Gibson, © 2012, 2014 Blindkat Publishers
Brand Marble's Outdoor Owner/TM Smoky Mountain Knife Works
Country, Place of Manufacture: USA, Global, Chiefly China (PRC), Pakistan, El Slavador
Product notes: Older production models were made in Gladstone, Michigan. Higher priced stainless fixed blades are out-source for production in the USA. Damascus blades normally come from Pakistan, Most traditional pattern folders are made in China. Modern pattern folders are made in Pakistan and China.Axes are imported from China and Pakistan. Machetes are made in El Salvador
It would be cool if someone were to rescue that brand a la Case.
Nothing to rescue. There's no factory. Anymore, it's just a name that got sold to the highest bidder. Like Schrade, like Camillus,
With Case, there was a manufacturing facility, so there was a possibility of maintaining it.
Thank you - I suspected SMKW might own this.
As it sits now, the Marble’s brand graces some pretty decent products, like the micarta and D2 sowbelly. They do a nice version of the TL-29 electrician’s knife, and their current-production version of the Camillus demo knife is at least as good as the original.
There is nothing wrong with my Imacasa panga, either.
I bought three Marble's knives back about 15 years ago or so, a pair of Campcrafts (one with leather stacked grip, the other with a synthetic grip) and a Fieldcraft, all in 52100 steel from Mike Stewart's era there. All are superb and are among the sharpest knives in my collection -- my BIL has the Campcraft with the synthetic grip in Wisconsin. I had a chance to handle a Fieldcraft model a few years after Mike left and they had changed to some kind of mystery steel, and was not impressed. The fit and finish were inferior and there was little left except the name. I once happened on a well-used Marble's in an antique shop in Tucson -- the tag seen under glass said $5 and I would have bought it until I looked closer and discovered it was $500. The original Marble's blades were die forged, like Roselli knives are today.
Thanks for the info Frank. I bookmarked that site for future reference.
Looks to me like it passed to Blue Ridge Knives in 2016 according to the Patent and Trademark Office:
That says SMKW got it in April 2010 and then passed it to Phil Martin DBA Blue Ridge Knives (an individual) in July 2010. Phil Martin assigned it to an entity he created, Blue Ridge Knives, Inc., in 2016.
But I think it's safe to say "Blue Ridge Knives" has controlled the trademark since 2010.
The Marble's Knives website has direct links to both Blue Ridge and SMKW, which makes me think they're related, but I can't find anything definitive.
Probably more accurate to say "resurrect" Marbles as a US manufacturer.
Gotcha. As was mentioned above perhaps "resurrect". Is the better adjective. I do find these sorts of corporate genealogies fascinating though often sad because often great companies are turned into vague shadows of their former selves. Sometimes they become some undead thing that does not reflect past glory at all. Ambercrombie and Fitch anyone?
Or you could buy vintage Marble's knives and give them some TLC.
Imo there's something about owning & using the real deal, like this Woodcraft model.
I imagine that there's folks that would freak out because you may have impacted collector value doing that but I have to say that does look amazing!
I have most certainly impacted collector value, as i already got offered quadruple of what i paid for it,
I know collectors freak out over that kinda thing, but if you’re cleaning it up to make a good user out of it, more power to ya. It looks great
Interesting, I'd give a nickel to know what you paid vs what you were offered. I know if this were an antique katana or bowie you would have destroyed the collector value for the most part by cleaning it up like that. Perhaps the same thing doesn't hold true in this genre? It really does look nice though.
So far it has been my experience that at least in this particular category (factory produced but quality made vintage knives) many collectors seem to appreciate a carefully restored knife quite a bit more compared to the same knife that remains in neglected condition (read: damaged/corroded/blunt/loose)
A large part of the above is due to nostalgia, as you know a natural phenomenon that tends to take hold of people as they progress in years.
This condition can suddenly make you want to own & use a certain knife dating back to your youth, but which you were unable to acquire at the time, for instance because of a lack in resources.
But what do you do if the only specimens you can find are far removed from how they once were ?
Or a specific older knife your deceased father or grandfather used to carry back in the day, and which you badly want to have restored to (at least close to) the condition you remember from when he was alive ?
Both categories are very real i can tell you, and sometimes tend to show up on my workbench, once in a while even from abroad.
Now and then i also buy certain old and neglected knives in an effort to improve upon my skillset, and resell them later on.
Pictures of a few of these projects can be found in older posts elsewhere on this forum.
(as not to clutter up this thread with more of my musings)
I appreciate your photos above. It's something I'd like to do some day, and give some added value to an old user....making it useable.